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DON'T SPEW A Set of Guidelines for Mass Unsolicited Mailings and Postings (spam*) (RFC2635)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003223D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 14 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

S. Hambridge: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This document explains why mass unsolicited electronic mail messages are harmful in the Internetworking community. It gives a set of guidelines for dealing with unsolicited mail for users, for system administrators, news administrators, and mailing list managers. It also makes suggestions Internet Service Providers might follow.

This text was extracted from a ASCII Text document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 7% of the total text.

Network Working Group S. Hambridge

Request for Comments: 2635 INTEL

FYI: 35 A. Lunde

Category: Informational Northwestern University

June 1999

DON'T SPEW

A Set of Guidelines for Mass Unsolicited

Mailings and Postings (spam*)

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does

not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this

memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999). All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

This document explains why mass unsolicited electronic mail messages

are harmful in the Internetworking community. It gives a set of

guidelines for dealing with unsolicited mail for users, for system

administrators, news administrators, and mailing list managers. It

also makes suggestions Internet Service Providers might follow.

1. Introduction

The Internet's origins in the Research and Education communities

played an important role in the foundation and formation of Internet

culture. This culture defined rules for network etiquette

(netiquette) and communication based on the Internet's being

relatively off-limits to commercial enterprise.

This all changed when U.S. Government was no longer the primary

funding body for the U.S. Internet, when the Internet truly went

global, and when all commercial enterprises were allowed to join what

had been strictly research networks. Internet culture had become

deeply embedded in the protocols the network used. Although the

social context has changed, the technical limits of the Internet

protocols still require a person to enforce certain limits on

resource usage for the 'Net to function effectively. Strong

authentication was not built into the News and Mail protocols. The

only thing that is saving the Internet from congestion collapse is

the voluntary inclusion of TCP backoff in almost all of the TCP/IP

driver code on the Internet. There is no end-to-end cost accounting

and/or cost recovery. Bandwidth is shared among all traffic without

resource reservation (although this is changing).

Unfortunately for all of us, the culture so carefully nurtured

through the early years of the Internet was not fully transferred to

all those new entities hooking into the bandwidth. Many of those

entities believe they have found a paradise of thousands of potential

customers each of whom is desperate to learn about stunning new

business opportunities. Alternatively, some of the new netizens

believe all people should at least hear about the one true religion

or political party or process. And some of them know that almost no

one wants to hear their message but just can't resist how inexpensive

the n...